Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2003 June 2
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
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The Fogs of Mars

Explanation: Fogs of clouds and dust covered parts of southern Mars during last Martian winter. Giant volcanoes, such as Ascraeus Mons, the central circular feature near the top of the image, were surrounded by large water clouds. Slightly southwest, Pavonis Mons and Arisa Mons also peeked above their water clouds. The rough terrain below center is Labyrinthus Noctis, a maze of deep troughs running over 200 kilometers long. Directly south, a large white dust storm fogs Syria Planum, a large plateau. This image mosaic was taken by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft currently orbiting Mars. Soon, five more Earth-launched spacecraft should arrive at the Red Planet, named for the Roman god of war.

Tomorrow's picture: Behind the Moon

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
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& Michigan Tech. U.